Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Beach time, day two: gulls, whales, a buffalo

My second day of a short getaway trip to the beach began with a good breakfast at the Hilltop Restaurant, a landmark in Lincoln City, where Lenny Carr plays on the weekends. I'm sorry I know absolutely nothing about his bio but having heard him quite a few times now I would bet that he's had quite a musical career. Our family physician (who is about Lenny's age) has a beach retreat in Lincoln City and, according to the doc's wife, Lenny is a favorite of his. This elder musician doesn't miss a beat of any song in his extensive repertoire, that is as varied as the customers at the Hilltop. I saw a large Hispanic youth in even larger clothes walk over to Lenny's tip bowl to add to the good pile of bills there on his keyboard. The next tippers were a couple with gray hair conservatively dressed for church, no doubt. Then I came along with my tip and my camera.

The rest of the day I drove and stopped at different beaches heading north on Highway 101 (the Pacific Coast Highway) before turning around and heading back home late in the day.

At this stop I saw a large Humpback whale spout and followed it along with other whale watchers as it fed in the kelp fields and then began to swim south. It was too far out in the ocean to get a photo. A little girl who was tentatively feeding seagulls never noticed the whale. I thought her mother showed ingenuity or maybe just a sense of humor in her selection of gull snacks.

I had some mini apple-cinnamon cookies I'd bought the day before and thought that spreading them out on a picnic table for the seagulls was a good idea. Unfortunately, the gulls you see in this picture gobbled them up so quickly that the screaming others on the grass around the table didn't even get close to enjoying my offering.


I love the 500 foot elevation viewpoint at Cape Foulweather.

These visitors at the lookout gift shop .....

.....had spotted a juvenile Humpback whale with a white tail feeding so close to the point that when it spouted we could hear it. One whale watcher advised everyone that the young whale could also hear us, and suggested that we not scream out in our excitement. The whale wasn't much larger than some of the black kelp seen spotting the water in that area.


I went to Gleneden Beach next, where I parked and took a long walk in the sand. There may have been a total of 20 people scattered along the beach, and they were entertained by one surfer. Surfers in Oregon almost always wear wet suits because the water is almost always cold!

Along with several "For Sale" signs near homes-with-a-view there were about a dozen of these other warning signs posted in the (shrinking) bank, a sad commentary....

(click on photo to enlarge)

I came upon these two seagulls walking and talking together apart from any other gulls. The normally loud call usually heard when seagulls cry was, in their conversation, much lowered in volume and intensity. Only one spoke at a time, then the other responded. They walked, changed direction, stopped -- all the while in what seemed a contemplative discussion. Totally oblivious to me, they never looked in my direction even with the camera pointing in theirs. The scene reminded me of the Two Talking Cats video I posted awhile ago.


Back at Lincoln City I pulled over at the wayside beach to call Mike and get a shot of colorful kites in a row against the bright blue sky before heading for home.


On the road to our town some good people have raised this magnificent pet buffalo, a beast we've been slowing down to talk to for about ten years now. He's really tame and alert, and responds to a kind human voice. I think he's very much loved by his people. When I drove home Sunday afternoon the buffalo had just been fed a mound of hay which he was enjoying near the fence. Since I had my camera I took a quick shot as cars sped past me on the narrow two-lane road. There's something about this guy that nearly always brings tears to my eyes. He has a beautiful verdant pasture with large shade trees and a little creek running at the edge of the back fence. He has his own barn and I've never seen him left out in a storm or late at night. He's made the news. He is not being raised to become buffalo steaks. He has a family. A human family. When was the last time he saw another buffalo? Does he, deep in his DNA, have a knowing of the grandeur of the bison's past in this land? Of the bison's slaughter to near extinction?

What does this lone animal have to do with a two-day beach trip? Only that seeing him was proof that I was back home where the buffalo roams.


Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Home, home on the range......

You photos remind me of Big Sur....

I especially like the one with the seagull propped atop the sign!

It seems as though you enjoyed yourself, I'm glad.

Unknown said...

My my...
you have been busy blogging, while I have been busy elsewhere

Great posts - and pics

I like the NYC posts - great memories for me
I saw the Fantastics twice
And wandered every garden and arboretum I could find in the greater NY area.

But I don't think I have ever seen Lenny Carr

I laughed at the wetsuit...
Where I grew up the best surfing was in the cold weather - so I had a wetsuit and surfed into December sometimes

The shots of the whale fit in with that nicely as we would see them sometimes - out there past the sandbars
Sharks too, though we never felt threatened by them in the least.

As for Mrs Palin
I liked your piece

I will only add (at this time) that one of the first things she did when elected Mayor of her small town, was to inquire of the chief librian as to how she could go about banning books.

Although no books were banned
The librarian was fired when she objected to the inquiry...

Lydia said...

Yes, some of them remind me of Big Sur too. Thanks again for your wonderful photos and descriptions of your vacation there...

Citizen of Earth,
Thanks much for your comments. I hope that you have been happily busy elsewhere! It's fun that we share some like memories of NY. Now, I wonder where it is you grew up surfing into Dec.! Maybe it's there buried in your blog...
Yes, I saw a piece about the Palin-librarian issue and my first thought was: wonder what Laura Bush, with a Master's degree in library science, thinks of that...

Unknown said...

I grew up in Freeport on Long Island - A fishing town not far from NYC.

Lydia said...

O, then you might like to visit a blog that I enjoy lots:




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